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Question
Hi,

I have a female 2 year old cat. Two months I adopted a second cat - a male kitten 5 months old at that time. I did the whole slow introduction thing and they both seemed really receptive to one another and they got along well initially. Then the kitten started chasing my older cat and i chalked it off to him just playing. But recently the chasing has become very aggressive, with the kitten stalking and hiding behind furniture and attacking/chasing my older cat at full speed, often ending with him pouncing on her. And the older cat ends up screaming or hissing at the end of it all. This is happening more and more often. Sometimes i also see my older cat chasing the kitten, but that is much less frequent, and much less agressive too.

My question is - is this aggression? Or is the kitten just trying to play? I feel really bad for my older cat because she seems to hate it - she hisses and yells, and has become a bit more timid. She used to love play time, but ever since the new kitten arrived, the kitten has been dominating the play scene (i drag toys around on strings for them to chase), and my older cat now hides behind the curtains instead of joining in the play.

I don't think my older cat hates the kitten, because she often goes to lick and groom him, but he attacks/swats her and starts getting aggressive when she licks him and it turns into a fight. But they do sleep together on the same bed at night and there is not any other signs of aggressions other than what i've described.

What should i do to end this dominance by the new kitten? I thought usually the problems are the other way around where the old cat terrorized the new one! Should i find a different home for the new kitten or do you think it'll be fine when he grows up? Is he just playing? Does my older cat know that he's playing? The kitten is 7 months old now. Both have been fixed.

Thank you so much for any help!

Answer
Hi
Well this is perfectly normal behaviour on behalf of the kitten. After all he is very young, full of energy and exploring and acting out all his natural cat instincts like stalking, hunting etc.

this behaviour is so familiar with me as I had the same problem years ago. In the what will happen is that they will both find their own place in the pack as it were, with one being more dominant than the other but this is something they will sort out. We have no control.

I would say however that your male kitten is now of an age where he is moving into adulthood, with all that brings hormone wise. So having him neutered now is the perfect time. This will also help to calm him down and also should stop more of the aggressive behaviour he may be showing.

Cats have their own way of sorting out their relationships with other animals and despite the fact we would like to be able to help, we simply can't. All we can do is provide them an environment that will keep them stimulated and entertained so that they do not become bored and possibly aggressive or frustrated. I'm sure you are doing this anyway.

I have a website with lots of information about cat behaviour heath, care etc which you might like to take a look at if you need any further help in the future.

best wishes Kate

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Kate Tilmouth

Expertise

I can answer most day to day cat problems encountered by owners. I have a good understanding of cat behaviour and problems which may arise from changes to their daily routine. I can advise on cat training including litter training and general day to day cat care issues. I am not a vet and therefore cannot answer medical questions.

Experience

I run my own cat website at http://www.our-happy-cat.com and have been a dedicated cat owner for over 20 years. I have encountered many different cat problems and situations and feel that i have a good understanding of cats and cat ownership.

Publications
I am a platinum member of Ezinearticles where i write mainly cat related articles.

Education/Credentials
Educated to High School level and have since worked for many years in a customer support based environment, gaining vocational qualifications.

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